Friday, October 4, 2019



1 comment:

  1. Thorani is the Thai name for Dharani (Pali for "ground"). As Gautama Siddhartha meditated under a bodhi tree, Mara, the demon who guards passion and is the catalyst for the lust, hesitation, and fear that obstruct meditation among Buddhists, tried to prevent him from achieving enlightenment. According to Elizabeth Guthrie, "Accompanied by his warriors, wild animals and his daughters, he tried to drive the Bodhisattva from his throne. All the gods were terrified and ran away, leaving the Bodhisattva alone to face Mara's challenge. The Bodhisattva stretched down his right hand and touched the earth, summoning her to be his witness. The earth deity in the form of a beautiful woman rose up from underneath the throne, and affirmed the Bodhisattva's right to occupy the vajrisana ['diamond seat' or 'diamond throne,' a yoga posture adopted by Gautama prior to his enlightenment]. She twisted her long hair, and torrents of water collected there from the innumerable donative libations of the Buddha over the ages created a flood. The flood washed away Mara and his army, and the Bodhisattva was freed to reach enlightenment." In Southeast Asian temple murals, a seated Buddha is often depicted in the Mara Vichai [Victory over Mara] pose (the "calling the earth to witness" mudra) in which Buddha's right hand is on his knee and his fingers posture towards the ground and his left hand is on his lap with the palm facing upwards, while he looks down at the ground. Thorani is often portrayed with him, with the water flowing forth from her long hair washing away Mara's armies of Mara and symbolizing the water of Gautama's perfect generosity. After Mara's defeat his daughters, the 3 poisons, Taṇha (thirst, the principle cause of suffering that leads to the cycle of death and repeated birth), Arati (aversion, discontentment), and Raga (attachment, desire, greed, passion, the results of the self's identification as being separate from everything else) tried to seduce him by stripping in front of him, but, according to the "Samyutta Nikaya," "the Teacher swept them away right there / As the wind, a fallen cotton tuft."


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?